When the sun is between Earth and Mars, the signals sent from NASA to the rovers and orbiters can be distorted or distorted, which can damage the robust and expensive instruments. This video from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory explains how scientists prepare for solar convergence by sending enough instructions in advance to keep the rovers busy during the event. Any data collected during the break is stored for transmission after sunset. This interaction started on November 11th and will last until November 25th.

The Solar Connection also gives NASA’s busy scientists a much-needed break. NASA’s website explains how the crew is dealing with the crisis. “Experts have developed the ability to allow aircraft to be autonomous. Before connecting to the sun, the mission team sends any necessary commands. So many consider it a good time to take a few well-deserved vacation days.”

The time to connect with the sun will also allow NASA employees to spend Thanksgiving at home with their families instead of face to face with computer monitors, and monitor data sent from more than 235 million miles away.

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